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My mind was rambling today (no more than usual, really) and I started thinking about books that have really BEEN THERE for me. And one is Stephen King’s “The Shining.”

I do believe that everything happens for a reason, including reading the right book at the right time. Having said that, this is just a trip inside the head of one squirrel that may (or may not) explain how I got HERE from THERE. 

To elaborate, “HERE” is celebrating my 13th wedding anniversay with my wonderful husband (yes, it’s TODAY. Thank you, thank you, how kind of you, etc.), and “THERE”, was having a panic attack in the boarding area of a flight to Palm Springs, CA out of BWI, circa 1997.   

Although I have flown many times, I do not ENJOY air travel and was dreading the long flight.

I was joining some friends at a healthcare management conference (YAWN! They would be working and I would not) in Palm Springs. It was the last money I was going to spend before plunking down a whole chunk of cash (read as “sign some papers promising to pay back a chunk of cash”) on my first house the following week. The house I bought because I was “through with men!” (again).  

One of my friends loaned me “The Shining” by Stephen King to take my mind off of the flight. It worked. I started reading in the airport, and I read almost the whole book before we landed. I had read a handfull of other King books in high school, but not the “The Shining”.  When I got to the hotel, I literally sat on the end of the bed until I finished reading it. BTW, unlike the rest of the planet, I hadn’t seen the movie either.

None of my suitemates had arrived, so I gathered their conference name tags and goody bags (another canvas duffle bag and lanyard – oh joy) and took advantage of the “WELCOME” happy hour in the lobby. Seriously. I ASSAULTED that happy hour. Good fun until everyone dispersed and I headed upstairs, got off at the wrong floor, tried the wrong door, decided I was trapped in the long hallway in “The Shining” and sat on the floor and cried. Damn those free cocktails.

When I finally made it back to my room, my friends had arrived and we all went out to dinner where…..wait for it….I met my husband.

To summarize, Stephen King got me on the plane, and I met the man of my dreams. I’ve since seen “The Shining”, the movie, and it remains, for me, one of the most disturbing (in a good way) movies I’ve ever seen. I even went around saying “REDRUM, REDRUM,” in a really annoying voice for a while after.

An NOW, by cool coincidence, we’ve seen two shows in the last couple of weeks that featured “The Shining.” The boys (point of fact – I didn’t think I was ever getting married, let along having kids!) rented Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror V, and I spent way too long trying to explain how “The Shinning” was a spoof of one of my favorite movies.

Then, last night, we all watched a rerun of Ghost Adventures where the Zak and the guys do a “lockdown” at the Stanley Hotel, in Colorado, where, we learned, Stephen King stayed in room 217 and was inspired to write “The Shining” (although the movie was not filmed there, the made-for-TV version was). An aside-we enjoy mocking Zak when, after “provoking” spirits in each episode, he screams like a girl if he actually thinks one touches him.

(The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, CO)

So, today, I was all obsessed with “The Shining”, and besides wanting to see the movie again, found this funny (at least I think so) 30-second re-imagining of “The Shining” — featuring animated bunnies. Enjoy!Happy anniversary to us!!